Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 10, 2011 8:15pm-9:00pm EST

8:15 pm
savannah and the civil war. >> what is it about christmas? what is it about christmas? >> is a remarkable time for families as it was a remarkable time in our history over the years. i hope this will be my last christmas book. >> "pearl harbor christmas," a world at war december 1941 is the name of the book. historian stanley weintraub is the author. up next jim newton recounts the tenure of america's 34th president dwight eisenhower. he he repeats the criticism that person eisenhower was complacent by citing his transformation of the government 8 billion-dollar deficit to a 500 elly and dollar surplus. the creation of an interstate highway system and the presidents constant refusal to utilize the atomic bomb when pressured by his generals. this is about 40 minutes.
8:16 pm
>> good evening. on behalf of director carl whites in-box and executive for presidential libraries legislative archives and museums dr. jim gardner, welcome to the eisenhower presidential library museum and boyhood home. i am tim reeves, the deputy director. i'm pleased to introduce jim newton, who spent so much time in abilene doing research for his biography of president eisenhower that he deserved to be an honorary citizen of kansas. jim has worked as a reporter, editor and bureau chief at "l.a. times" for more than 20 years. he is currently editor-at-large. jim now serves as a member of the times editorial board, advises on editorial matters and writes and edits for the editorial page and op-ed, including a weekly column examining policy and politics of
8:17 pm
southern california. jim has previously reported for the atlanta journal-constitution and the clerk of "the new york times" where he served as columnist james reston's a system. jim is a graduate of dartmouth college and the recipient of many local and national awards in journalism. he was part of the "l.a. times" coverage of the l.a. riots of 1992 and the earthquake in 1994, both of which one public surprises for the staff. jim is a senior fellow at ucla's school of public affairs. he is also the author of the highly acclaimed book, justice for all, earl warren and the nation he made. please welcome a good friend of this institution back to kansas, jim newton. [applause] >> good evening everyone. before i started just want to say how pleased i am to be back here in abilene. as tim mentioned i have spent much of the past five years here.
8:18 pm
i believe i have eaten just about every restaurant here in town but i just want to say people here have been gracious and warm to me on my many visits and i'm most grateful for that so thank you very much. i also would like a specially to thank step of this great library and museum a number of whom art knowledge in the book but who deserve some special mention to night. first and foremost is deputy director here in the good friend and the archivist to whom i was lucky to be assigned, samantha kenner who is responsible for the arrangements tonight and of course carl whites and bok who has been gracious to me throughout the long research and to introduce me to david eisenhower and julie nixon. is it's a special challenge that i have learned this spring to speak to people in abilene about eisenhower. as you are an unusually sophisticated and his legacy. both places the first question i get is, didn't he just play golf? rather than view his presidency
8:19 pm
i thought i would focus in on that particular episode and relationship that stands at the intersection of my two books, who recently completed examination of his presidency the white house years and my 2006 biography of earl warren. i again boren had a rocky relationship but it climaxed in a powerful and much misunderstood moment in american history, one with profound ramifications for our democracy, civil rights and the relationship searching the branches of our government as well as between the federal and state governments. those are relationships that rely upon a subtle blend of power and mutual respect and this particular episode the little rock crisis of 1957 provides a vivid example of what occurs when the fundamental difference to reason and authority and in this case between the state and federal government falters and gives way. it is i hope reminder that our government and indeed our society itself depends upon a modicum of mutual respect and
8:20 pm
common sense. we place much faith in -- faith in our course but we must recognize the authority directs from a deal to peel to reason and habit of obedience. no mandate no matter how worthy exist without someone else to make it sell. reasoned the binding agent of social justice without it we are all imperiled because when reason fails all that is left is force. dwight eisenhower and earl warren for men of modest beginnings to build successful quarters though somewhat different types. ike was born in texas for 100 yards from here in a little white house smaller than the office he would eventually occupy as army chief of staff. as you well know his parents were members of the river bergman it pacifist group and yet when eisenhower arrived at west point it was only time his rather had ever heard his mother cry. he was of course the tramp and
8:21 pm
hero of world war ii responsible for the destruction of hitler's war machine first in north africa and then in italy and finally with a push across the northern european plain beginning with the d-day landing at normandy. he was urged to run for president in 1948 but he declined and then agreed in 1952 and once elected he distinguished himself principally in foreign and military affairs but he also embraced the construction of the st. lawrence the way to open up the center of the country to commerce and trade and later of course in response to the federal highway system@time the largest in history. warns life was different but with some parallels. he was born in los angeles where the today race raised in bakersfield and his dad worked for the southern pacific railroad, it prominent railroad of the period. warren and his sister grew up without much. he was educated in public schools and then california's great public university of the era. he was an undergraduate at ucla's berkeley, not much of a student by the way.
8:22 pm
he was a veteran of world war i and it went on to become a prosecutor. he was a district attorney in alameda county in california went on to become attorney general of california and finally governor. he was an extraordinarily gifted politician. earl warren ran seven times for public office in california and he won every race. he was elected three times as governor until the return of jerry brown in my home state. he was elected in 1942, 1946 and 1950 in each of those was a quite exceptional race. in 1942 in the middle of a war he ran against a democrat and incumbent who was favored by fdr. in 1950, the third of his reelections he did one better and be jimmy roosevelt by a record number of votes in california history and the 1946 election warren of course was a republican and easily won the
8:23 pm
republican nomination for governor that year but it was also an era where there was crossfire in california and are all born managed to secure the nomination of the democratic party as well. so warren's rattu national dominance at the das office meant he was focused largely on domestic affairs. he demonstrated an appreciation for public works on a grand scale. he is a gas tax to build california's highway system. eisenhower's plan would draw elements from warrants and he watched the significant expansion of the much celebrated university system including the construction of the santa barbara campus. for their efforts worn and eisenhower at each were on occasion -- with the great bugaboo of american politics. both or either accused of coddling socialism or being social is out right. and warns case the charge arose mostly out of his long and unsuccessful campaign to win universal health insurance in
8:24 pm
california. tell me if that sounds familiar. the case of eisenhower the birch society said he was -- and one of his brothers would occasionally tease him about leading the country toward socialism. ike took it in stride. warren in eisenhower's lives first came together in earnest in 1952. it was that year that they completed -- competed for the republican nomination for president. they both entered the convention in chicago that summer with hopes of winning. ike crafted a strategy to seek his delegates overtapped well-worn hope they taft and eisenhower campaigns would deadlock and he would emerge as a compromise candidate acceptable to the eisenhower forces. ike of course one but the two of them got to know each other in the aftermath of the race and having gotten to know and appreciate warren it was natural eisenhower would look for a place for him and his government. eisenhower considered a point to
8:25 pm
warn the secretary of the interior but eventually rounded out his cabinet without warren. in late 1952 as eisenhower prepared to leave on his famous visit to the korean front he placed a call to warren. partly to apologize for not -- but also to explain he would offer him the first vacancy on the united states supreme court. then after further discussions with his attorney general, herberg ronnell, eisenhower decided to offer war and warned the solicitor general ship a position of the lawyer who argues before the court reasoning he could use the experience to freshen up his courtroom skills while waiting for a vacancy on the court. warren accepted and while he was in europe that summer but before the could announce the move then chief justice fred vinson and i. his death was quite unexpected although he was overweight and and a heavy smoker. he was only 63 years old. he and ike were old friends and eisenhower who is in denver when he got the news was be reached. at the united states supreme court on the other hand the
8:26 pm
reaction was somewhat more measured. under benson's court had been badly divided over brown versus board of education the justices worst duck over how to proceed. so divided for a day of what to do next that felix frankfurter devised a stall. he succeeded in putting the case over to the next term by asking the lawyers to respond with a series of queries from the court. when benson died in september of 1953 frankfurter remarked of the first solid evidence he received of the -- of god. he was and acerbic guy. so benson's death created eisenhower's first vacancy on the court but eisenhower had not contemplated making foreign chief justice. he contemplated giving them the first vacancy for associate justiceship so he did not immediately tender the nomination the warren believed was rightfully promised to him. in fact ike send it out john
8:27 pm
foster dulles about his interest in the post but dole so just been named secretary of state and hadn't aspire to become secretary of state declined. after some fencing row now eventually persuaded someone he should deliver on the promise nomination and eisenhower announced warrants appointment on september 30, 1953. congress was in recess at the time so warren re-signed the governorship of california on a friday and was at the supreme court the following week. he took his seat as a justice designate. one other thing that is interesting to note the list to say almost inconceivable in today's judicial environment. the other interesting thing about his confirmation is because he was already ceded on the court when his confirmation began warned equated to a attend. he argued it would violate the separation of power where he was required to testify so he did not come, again hard to imagine today.
8:28 pm
what warren found when he came to the court was a badly the badly divided court that i just described to you on the issue of brown. there were at least three of those in the court to uphold school segregation in the united states. fincen himself as well as tom clarke and stanley reid. stanley reid was so committed to segregation that a few years earlier he refused to attend the supreme court christmas party of black pages were to be included. and conference notes kept by william douglas, that justice also suggested there could have been to more votes to uphold segregation and therefore a majority of five. frankfurt and jackson both had likely votes to vote in favor of segregation. not so much on the principle of segregation and in fact not at all in the principle of segregation as in deference to objection of what we would call judicial activism. jackson and frankfurt or at least to dulles' air appeared conflicted about joining and majority that would overrule the precedent established with plessy versus ferguson which
8:29 pm
established separate but equal for filling the 14th amendment command of equal protection. it is worth noting however that regarding douglas perception with some skepticism detested jackson and frankfurt or. and that things have gotten so bad by the 19 50s that an conference when frankfurter would begin to speak douglas would leave the room and asked to be summoned back when he was finished. no matter where each of the justices lay precisely warren new if he settled in to the court he was dealing with deep differences and he was determined to bring them back together. that process began on december 5 of 1953, the first conference of warrants tenure at which brown was discussed. warren as was customary for the chief justice to spoke for sadeh and he began with a simple statement. the time had come to resolve the issue. there would be no more delays. having said that he then made
8:30 pm
this brief assertion. there was no way that he could imagine upholding segregation in the brown case other than by asserting as he put it the basic premise that the black race is inferior. that was a fairly stunning claim. throughout all the funds and here's the court had not down some segregated school arrangements and in the case, in his case for graduate schools by funding the separate facilities provided for blacks were equal only in fiction. they didn't have libraries are adequate facilities or other amenities. it didn't come close to saying mere separation constituted inequality but stop short of that. it'd never been willing to argue that separation itself is predicated on racial inferiority. in fact the whole notion of separate but equal assumed the opposite however disingenuously. that now this court's newest justice and also it's chief justice made clear he was unwilling to continue that action. that put jackson in frankfurter in particular in an excruciating
8:31 pm
position. it was one thing for frankfurter for instance to argue judicial restraint on him. it was another for him to be asked to defend racial superior to. both frankfurter and jackson were new deal liberals ideology to. they were both appointed by fdr but frankfurt frankfurter moreover had represented represented the naacp and represented sacco and vanzetti in their appeal. lucifer supreme court justice to hire a black clerk. it was then excruciating for him to be accused of defending white supremacy even if it was in the service of traditional restraint. having stated his position quite boldly warned warren went easy on what to do. he was open to gradual remedies for addressing his constitutional problem. perhaps most importantly was the tactical decision he made which was asking the justices not to record their vote said they. typically they record their tentative votes and there is a
8:32 pm
record of it. but he didn't want them to lock into position on the issue. instead he proposed that he and the brethren talk the issue over and formally over the coming weeks and with that is great and in seasoned politician went to work. among those who nervously awaited the outcome of that work was the president who had appointed him. so in the course of researching my eisenhower book i met john eisenhower and he described his fathers mandate in the way they capture something about this issue. my dad he said was a commander-in-chief not a social reformer. that is exactly correct. eisenhower did not run for president or when the presidency because he had great plans to eliminate discrimination or address poverty or are even develop highways. he was elected in the middle of the korean war by an american people frightened and perplexed by the changing nature of the military power of the modern
8:33 pm
world. he was an astonishingly capable commander. as president eisenhower would in the korean war and govern for another 7.5 years during which his closest advisers repeatedly would urge them to use the military and even nuclear weapons to resolve conflicts in korea, indochina berlin and elsewhere, he held those advisers off and despite a running set of armed conflict with the armed communism from southeast asia to the suez canal to hungary to central america to central europe ike badly bavis and 961 having lost precisely one american life in combat. a young man killed by a sniper in lebanon. his two terms represent the most sustained period of peace and prosperity and the american 20th century. but if someone was gifted in matters of diplomatic strategy, and he was, he was less sure of himself in domestic affairs. he had been raised in segregated
8:34 pm
military and never reported to oregon worked as an equal of a black man much less a black woman. his friends were southerners, vacationed in augusta georgia which was his favorite golf course. it is not that eisenhower werber is racist but nothing in his upbringing or get background gave him any connection to the struggles of african-americans. moreover he was a graduate. he believed americans were fundamentally good people and had sacrificed in great numbers to defeat the tyranny and racism of nazi germany but he also believed they were better when they were allowed to be, not when they were forced. so even as war and built his court in brown, ike worried about what the court might do. his greatest fear is he expressed privately too many friends was that the court might issue an order that others simply refuse to obey. that it would mandate school integration and others would close schools rather than open them to blacks. in that it turns out he was
8:35 pm
right. soon after becoming president someone resolved to host regular dinners. the dress was black tie, guess where men to be known than his eisenhower stag dinners. he invited an extraordinary honor and only few men decline. and every age of 1954 the guest list was typically frankly murphy, the chancellor of the university of kansas later of ucla and a company where i work was there as was irwin griswold the harvard law school chief executive officers of ford motor company and oh aluminum mingled with attorney general brownell who was ike's former military aide now serving as eisenhower's undersecretary of state and among the guests was girl warren. warren arrived with the rest of the minute he started to stew after he took his place at the table. he was seated within earshot of another prominent member the party john w. davis who had once
8:36 pm
been a democratic candidate for president. 1954 that davis was best known as the lawyer for the state of south carolina. in his defense against the consolidated lawsuits collectively known as brown versus board of education. warren who was a stickler for propriety and a somewhat character took offense at being seated so close to a lawyer whose case was now pending before him. and as the dinner broke up and a gentleman retired for cigars and brandy, eisenhower took worn by the elbow and whispered a remark in his ear. these are not bad people eisenhower said nodding to the southerners in the room. all they are concerned about is to see their sweet little girls are not required to sit in school alongside some big overgrown -- there is no excusing that crude and appalling remark and warren included in his memoirs which is why we have a record of the.
8:37 pm
it effectively mark the end of cordial relations between the president and his chief justice and that foreshadow the division that was to grow up between them in the coming years. that division was first publicly apparent a few months later. on may 171954 warner announced from the branch -- not benched the decision. number one oliver brown versus board of education of topeka kansas. the decision as it sat before warren read we conclude in the field of public education the doctrine of separate but equal has no place. as he read it however warned impose the words we unanimously included. justice reid just as reflected in been the last holdout in brown wiped away a tear. thurgood marshall the lawyer for the plaintiff stood in amazement. warren himself since the power as he read in his memoirs, when the words unanimously were spoken a wave of emotion swept the room. no words are intentional movement yet a distinct
8:38 pm
manifestation that defies description. eisenhower was not among those so moved. he elected to receive brownout is a triumph of american egalitarianism or as a fulfillment of a long and shamefully postpone constitutional right. he regarded it instead as an order. the supreme court has spoken he said in a press conference two days after the ruling was handed down and i'm sworn to uphold constitutional process in this country and i'm trying. i will obey. so began the struggle for the meaning of effectiveness for brown. groundless -- known as brown two which allowed round one to be implemented with ultimate speed a recipe that provided for much deliberation. given the wiggle room many in in the south concocted myriad ways to delay and if i. in this defines the south was tacitly encouraged by the impression eisenhower himself had reservations about round.
8:39 pm
but as the southern states experimented with the limits over systems the court steadily expanded its own insistence. it did so even as the composition of the court changed and its ranks filled with eisenhower appointees, john harlan to the bench in 1955, william brennan arrived in 1956 and charles whitaker in 1957 and eventually potter stewart would join them as well making for five justices on the court. despite those new changes to membership the court remains steadfast in its insistence that demanding the end of jim crow. and despite this discomfort with the speed at which the court was moving eisenhower of reinforced its work in important ways. his appointments to seven appellate and district courts guided by brownell provided a bulwark of the judd is shares brave attempt to fashion brown into a working doctrine of the school district level. ike is capable of a crude remark but also a noble work.
8:40 pm
by 1957 ike had another reason to be unhappy with his appointees on the court. it was that time a hosting cases involving rights of legislatures and law officials to investigate, is more handed down by the warren court. the first of this came on june 3, 1957. it involved the union president he was found guilty of lying to investigators when he filed paperwork indicating he had never been a communist. at his trial his lawyer asked to see the statements by the witnesses who testified against him so he could conduct his cross-examination. cross-examination. the judge denied any opportunity and then his lawyer appealed the conviction on the basis he had been denied the opportunity to adequately prepare a defense. brennan wrote that overturned his conviction and only clark descended complaining that the courts would provide what he called a roman holiday. that was just the beginning. two weeks later the court handed down not one before decisions
8:41 pm
relating to domestic security. they collectively came to be known as the red monday cases. in swinney versus the hampshire the court defended the free association right at the new hampshire economics professor by the name of, what was his name? sweeney i guess andy watkins versus the united states union organizer john walken's refusal to answer to the house of american activities community. both this is jordan by warren and the letter included his sentence quote there is no congressional power to expose for the sake of exposure. for good measure the court reinstated a beleaguered state department employee by the name of john service john service to his posts and service versus dulles and a group of california communist convicted in yates versus united states. those decisions by the way whereby harlan not the most conservative of appointees to the court. eisenhower was in incensed and his temper which he often stroke of two control balloons. he was hosting another stag dinner the night after red
8:42 pm
monday and while guess assembles -- assembled, he said i was never as mad in my life to see few minutes -- time you stand on the kingdom is -- non-communist. eisenhower's remark made it into the press and bear sing and forcing him to apologize to the chief justice. warren shrug it off but years later he confronted someone directly asking what the president would have done with a communist again before the court. i would kill the sob eisner responded. he regarded as petulant. congress it should be noted was not entirely quiets and over these issues. indeed one congressional segregationist found common ground with congressional domestic security hawks are good implications for the court were quite grave. in 1959 the congress came within one vote stripping the court of its authority to hear domestic security cases altogether an outcome that would have
8:43 pm
radically altered the courts place in american life and the court only avoided that calamity because lyndon johnson persuaded a senator from utah that unless he voted to send the matter back to committee richard nixon the vice president might have to break the tie and thus damage his chances to run for president. it was as warren reflected a dangerously close call. a period in a press conference on july 17, 1957 eisenhower equivocated as he had so often about the merits of civil rights but he was straightforward about what he thought lay ahead for him on this issue. does he said i can't imagine any set of circumstances that would ever induce me to send federal troops into any area to enforce the orders of a federal court because i believe a common sense of america will never require it. eisenhower was an optimist. he may not have overestimated the common sense of america but certainly overestimated that of one or both office. born in greasy creek arkansas which i love saying, he had been
8:44 pm
raised a socialist. is middle initials stood for eugene is in eugene debs and throughout his compass to his career in politics he regularly had to fend off charges that he was a leftist of one kind or another. in 1957 what that man is he knew to prove he was tough on the issue of integration. henderson by the standards of the 19 50s have little rock had done a fairly commendable job in trying to adhere brown one and brown two. soon after the course decision to little rock school board submitted a desegregation plan to the local federal federal district court judge ronald davy and he approved of. it is a gradual plan integrating the school slowly over a decade but is satisfied they the requirements of desegregation with all delivered speed and it was moving forward until they arkansas legislator and governor fathers declared opposition. fob as he was facing a tough re-election campaign took the stand that would protect his rights politically.
8:45 pm
he called on the arkansas national guard to prevent nine black students from entering their local high school. the result is on september 3 the "little rock nine" shutter for school and were turned away by the arkansas national guard. federal troops being used to thwart the orders of a federal court. two months earlier eisenhower had been unable to imagine any set of circumstances that would require him to use troops to enforce such an order. now faubus and force the issue. -then someone would not rush into action against the advice of brownell and working for an intermediary eisenhower summoned faubus to newport rhode island for he and many were vocation. faubus arrived on september 14. at first the conversation was mild. faubus talked about serving under general patton eisenhower talked about serving a over general patton in world war ii and then they settle down to business. each of the medcom with a proposal for the crisis.
8:46 pm
faubus went first. he suggested a 10 day cooling off period and asked eisenhower for the use of federal marshals to maintain order. that must have struck ike as rich. he was now asking for an federal marshals. ike countered with his proposal. faubus could leave the national guard in place but change it from blocking entrance into the school to provide safe passage for those same students. if faubus a great eisenhower pledged the justice department would urge judge davies to drop the content charge. he did not agree he reminded faubus a one outcome, the state would lose. faubus a gamble that eisenhower's ambivalence on the issue of civil rights and his irritation with the supreme court not to mention his extreme reluctance to be the first american president since grant to dispatch federal troops into a southern city would cause him to seek a compromise and allow
8:47 pm
faubus to save face. he had done wrong. he played for time over the next few days and was scheduled to appear in court on september 20 but he skipped a hearing. his lawyers at that hearing before judge davies to recuse himself and he predictably did not grant that and when he declined they stormed out to the amazement of thurgood marshall marshall berrigan on behalf of the plaintiff. in their absence davies ordered ordered the disintegration plan to resume and this time specifically ordered faubus not to obstruct him. that was friday afternoon and faubus having with little rock into a friends a abruptly with chew the guard at 6:25. suddenly the citizen council and klansman and thugs who have been drawn to little rock had the run of the town. they spent a week and caressing and agitating and they were ready on monday morning. the scene that morning ranks among the most distressing in american history. a seething, spreading mob turned
8:48 pm
on every black person a could find. for black reporters were beaten and the images of scowling white processors remain indelible images of the dignity of the black pioneers and the debasement of their white antagonists. amazingly the students made it inside little rock high school that morning but by 11:30 the mob outside had grown into such a frenzy that they are feral for for their safety had the police escort the students home. the mayor was now on a desperate situation. he lost control a city, could not -- was a conference at sea island georgia. he was not -- begging him in the interest of humanity law and order to send troops. at 12:15, ike author is that of women of the 101st airborne division. seven mins later he signed the formal order. the arrival of the 101st
8:49 pm
airborne had precisely the intended effect on the same strumming agitators who had thrown such venom towards defenseless boys and girls lost their gumption in the face of the challenge from the united states army. the "little rock nine" into the school and attended classes under military escort. neither reason nor deference nor the majesty of the united states supreme court had made much of an impression on little rock for the presence of the american army did. the soldiers remained in place long enough to establish a hold order and then gradually were withdrawn. that spring ernest green became the first black student ever to receive a diploma from little rock central high. seated next to his mother on a proud day was a young minister from atlanta, martin luther king. the little rock crisis builds as the nation's legislative judicial and branches. director when the governor mentioned he could exercise a
8:50 pm
veto or federal authority. it ended with a forceful reminder of who was in charge. eisenhower did not summon the 101st airborne because he implied it earl warren and his colleagues. he did not invoke federal authority because he believed passionately in the cause of civil rights or because he believed that prompt school integration with the national necessity. he called on the army his army, because our society depends upon regard for order and authority if and when that authority is directed towards goals that not all of our society accepts. as eisenhower put it from the oval office, rapper and sensible observance of the law and demand of the obedience which the nation has the right to respect from all people. this unfortunately has not been the case at little rock. at little rock the supreme court demanded change and the governor cynically instructed it. they were fighting over civil rights and that that'll would continue through the 19 50s and 1960s as resistance test of the court again and again.
8:51 pm
eisenhower was engaged in a different struggle. he was fighting to preserve the institutions of american democracy, to force those who would flaunt those institutions to accept civilizations basic requirements, beaty and, and respect for order. at little rock the court discovered the limits of its power and faubus learned the limits of his. it was eisenhower who prevailed and with him the nation. i thank you all for listening and it has been my honors i said to spend many months in your town immersed in the life of this great man. it has been my pleasure to speak with you this evening, thank you, and i would be delighted to take your questions. [applause] i need to remind you that please if you would come to the microphone and we would appreciate it because it allows the audio and video capture.
8:52 pm
>> can you hear me? i would like to pick up where we left off when we were talking out there that you are someone that was born after eisenhower left office and how has that -- someone that read your book would they get a different perspective than some of the other authors like stephen ambrose that lived in eisenhower era and lived in the 50s? >> i would say this, i do think the strength of historical writing is not the personal experience of the author, but rather the extent of the record and the ability to make sense of the records so i don't, these two books, neither of which are people i have met or had any personal feeling about one way or another as a result of my own life experience so i think at a minimum that is not a weakness and could be construed as a
8:53 pm
string. >> you said there are more papers available bandwidth some of the previous books. >> yes, there are as the people here at the library can explain better than i. new records are becoming available all the time. in some ways the most exciting business historical research i did at the library i was working in the reading room as they did for many days. 10 race came in and said there was someone who just arrived that i'd be interested in. it turned out a batch of material related to the farewell address that had been missing for over 50 years had suddenly turned up. malcolm, the principle author of the farewell address turned over most of his papers to the library here but for reasons that remain a little inexplicable had held onto six boxes of materials doored in a barn for many years and move them to a boathouse in minnesota a summer two ago when grant and
8:54 pm
his sister were cleaning out the boathouse, kathy said we really ought to do something with these boxes. they realize they contained more than 20 long version drafts of the farewell address address as well as memos and other material related to it. it was thrilling to me to be among the first person to look at them and a reminder that the material emerges all the time in the most unexpected ways. as someone pointed out i did a piece for "the new yorker" and as someone pointed out in connection with that had the vacation in florida or somewhere in the south all those years, undoubtedly -- almost surely can shuja their survival and therefore are much more prudent understanding of these things. >> i was wondering if you could
8:55 pm
talk a little bit about eisenhower's process in picking supreme court justices? i think he once said earl warren was the biggest mistake he ever made as president and william brennan they have been a second biggest mistake. was it a question of him not doing his homework when it came to picking supreme court justices and where on the spectrum do you think someone would have liked to supreme court justices to have them? it seems his reputation as necessarily being all that conservative. maybe he would not have picked five antonin scalia's. what we have preferred? >> it's an excellent question. on your first about the remark is said to have made about brennan warren, it is difficult to find the actual source of that remark. what is quite clear as he was disappointed in both brennan and one. he said that in different ways over the years. his preface for picking justices was surprisingly casual by today standards.
8:56 pm
he delegated the responsibly largely to brunell as long as brunell was there and i think we are lucky that he did. brunell was an exceptionally good choice of justices and judges and i do think some of that is part of ike's military tradition of deference to subordinates and he had great trust in brownell. and you know, he was as i say somewhat casual about the process. in 1956 when he went to choose, when he chose william brennan he was in the middle of his re-election campaign. he fared well with almost every demographic in 1952 but he asked brownell and naked political terms to find a moderate democrat who was a catholic ideally something -- sitting on the northeastern bench somewhere and that was sure a one electro- weakness he had. he got most of what he wanted there and he got a democrat from the northeast. he did not get a moderate. three out of four. you know, i think that the best
8:57 pm
example of a kind of justice he probably would have liked more was an extraordinarily gifted very principled conservative justice for the court. on the issue of warren and i will just conclude with this, i get why he had some reason to be disappointed with one. he had no right to be disappointed with brennan and i think the notion that brennan and let him down in some way is silly. in the case of warren, i think they misunderstood. ike misunderstood a certain aspect of warren. warren. he saw worn and believed he saw something of himself, a republican moderate who saw his opposition coming from taft who also rejected much of the new deal. he saw that centrist republican international isolationist and i think what he didn't get about war worn his sworn growth in the tradition of california progressivism which is a kind of entity unto itself and i think
8:58 pm
warren was a more predictable justice van ike thought he was if ike understood that aspect of his personality so that is responsible for that divergence and -- anyone else? with that i think maybe we will call it a night. again i thank you very much and appreciate you being here. [applause] for more information about jim newton visited "l.a. times".com and search his name. >> well there is a new book out called "courtwatchers." eyewitness accounts of the supreme court history. claire cushman is the author, and john roberts, chief justice of the u.s. supreme court wrote the forward. sara -- claire cushman who were the "courtwatchers"? >> they are the justices themselves.
8:59 pm
their wives, children, or all advocates, court staff, reporters who cover the court and even some just random bystanders to happen to be in the courtroom one day and witnessed something exciting and then went back and reported it. most of what this book is me taking up all that stuff over the last 220 years that the court has been in existence and finding all the insider stories written by people who were affiliated with the court. >> what is one of your favorite insider stories? >> i have so many because there are some that are funny and some that are poignant and some better educational. but i guess the ones that i like the most are the ones written by the supreme court spouses because you really get a sense of what it was like at home. so my favorite is written by elizabeth black who is the wife of hugo black and he had a hard time sleeping at night when he was coach at dating on a very


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on